Congress and federal agencies continue to take steps to advance the rollout of 5G wireless networks across the United States. 5G networks promise faster speeds, lower latency, and the ability to connect more devices through the “Internet of Things.”
According to a report released yesterday by Mintz, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently adopted an airworthiness directive for certain Bombardier airplanes to protect radio altimeters from potential interference from C-band 5G deployments. The directive requires revising flight manuals to add procedures when 5G interference is present. Comments on the directive are due by April 10.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted additional licenses for spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, which was auctioned off last August to facilitate 5G deployments. The FCC also established a new framework for the 4.9 GHz band, enabling both public safety and commercial use, including potential 5G services. The FCC will take comments through May on details for implementing spectrum leasing in the band.
In other FCC action, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau conditionally granted a waiver request by Ericsson to allow radios utilizing multiple spectrum bands. This will facilitate deployment of multiband wireless services, according to the FCC.
Meanwhile, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr continues to publicly recognize the work of tower climbers who enable new 5G and next-generation network builds. Carr has awarded several workers with “5G Ready Hard Hat” awards.
On Capitol Hill, the House passed legislation to extend the FCC’s auction authority through mid-May. The authority is set to expire next week on March 9. The House also reintroduced bills related to 5G, including one requiring the FCC to determine spectrum needs for Internet of Things and 5G devices and another promoting transparency around FCC license-holders.
FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington praised the reintroduced Foreign Adversary Communications Transparency Act, which would list FCC license-holders owned by China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba.
Deployment of 5G networks continues to be a priority issue for policymakers. But challenges remain, including freeing up sufficient spectrum and enhancing transparency around foreign-owned providers. Ongoing Congressional legislation and FCC efforts aim to maintain U.S. leadership in 5G rollout.